Chat with John Taylor, editor of the Shawnee Dispatch
February 5, 2009
Dispatch editor John Taylor will talk about changes in the size and format of the Dispatch.
This chat has already taken place. Read the transcript below.
Good afternoon and thanks for joining our chat. John Taylor, editor of The Dispatch, will answer questions about the newly redesigned newspaper, which made its debut this week.
Without further adieu, let's go to the questions.
The sports section is a lot smaller; I wish it had more pictures.
Thanks for your question, new2shawnee. The sports section was three pages this week and three pages last week. It's true the pages are smaller, though. One thing to keep in mind is that our print product is supplemented by our Web site. If you go back and look at www.shawneedispatch.com, you'll see stories each week that didn't appear in the newspaper but are online.
OK. We have a question about the puzzles page:
Will you please go back to the old crossword puzzle.?Thanks.
Thanks for your question, Mike. At this time we don't plan to go back to the Super Crossword that we used to publish in The Dispatch. The biggest reason is because of it's size. With our smaller format, we just thought it was prudent to go with a smaller crossword. As we planned for the new format change, we reassessed all of our features to determine how best to serve our readers. Rather than cut down on our story count, we looked at the former puzzle page as one place where we might gain some space in the new format.
We don't take changing crossword puzzles lightly; I've been involved at other newspapers when crosswords were changed, and I know readers take their crosswords personally.
We'll continue to gauge reader reaction to this change over the next several weeks and assess the situation at that time. Until then, I'd urge you, Mike, to keep trying the new crossword to see if you feel differently about it.
Thanks again for the question!
Next up: Another question from new2shawnee.
Can we suggest people to be in the "Neighbors" feature or to be on the "Points of View" panel?
You bet. We'd love to get suggestions from our readers for potential subjects for"Neighbors" or for any story for that matter. You can e-mail your suggestions to me at email@example.com or call me at 913-962-3000, ext. 102.
And what about Point of View?
Anyone interested in being on our Point of View panel should contact Caroline Boyer, firstname.lastname@example.org or 913-962-3000, ext. 111. You should know upfront that Point of View is a longer-term commitment, but again, we'd be glad to have reader suggestions or volunteers for that feature.
OK. What can you tell us about the new weather forecast?
The weather forecast is produced by Matt Elwell, a meteorologist with 6News-Lawrence and KTKA-TV in Topeka, which are owned by the same company that publishes The Dispatch. Matt develops the Seven-Day Outlook for us each week for publication in The Dispatch. In addition, we also have our new commuter forecast, which appears as an online video every weekday at www.shawneedispatch.com/weather. Those videos give are updated for both the morning drive and the evening commute. We're pretty excited about being able to bring these new features to our readers, both in print and online. I'd also be remiss without mentioning the work of Gil Hoag, who keeps tabs on our high and low temperatures and rain and snow totals each week. Thanks Gil!
It looks like we've come to the end of our 30-minute chat. Thanks to all those who participated.
I'd like to second that. If anyone has any other comments about the redesign or any other questions about The Dispatch, please give me a call at 962-3000, ext. 102, or send an e-mail to me at email@example.com. I'd be glad to try to answer all questions.
Thanks to everyone who submitted questions. Check back at www.shawneedispatch.com for future chats. Good evening!